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Copper Nail Still Growing After Six Years

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There has been much activity in our downtown area lately. A restoration project is underway at the Copper Nail. With much interest being expressed by customers, the Board of the Copper Nail would like to detail the development of the project for the community.

In September of 2007, the vision to establish a nonprofit organization that would raise funds for other community non-profits became a reality. On Heritage Day, the doors to the Copper Nail were opened in the rented historical hardware store in the center of the village.

Operated exclusively by volunteers and selling only items donated by the community, the group moved onward to success beyond their dreams. It was soon evident that more space would be needed. Arrangements were made to rent the remaining available space in the building. This enabled further expansion by allowing the sale of furniture and other larger items.

The Board of community members who were making operating decisions quickly showed themselves to be an overall conservative lot. They set out to make the Copper Nail secure in it’s ability to continue long into the future. With this in mind, the decision was eventually made to purchase the building rather then to ‘waste money on rent’.

A purchase agreement was signed in January, 2010 and a mortgage attained. Assistance was provided by the Downtown Development Authority in the form of a reducing loan to meet the down payment. The DDA had seen the impact that the Copper Nail was having in bringing new customer traffic into the business area. To encourage this, the loan was set up to reduce by 10% for each year that the Copper Nail stayed in business. In 10 years, the loan will be entirely forgiven.

Certain repairs were soon obvious. The Board approved a new membrane roof for the main structure. This was completed in the summer of 2010 and paid for without additional financing.

From the beginning, the Board has applied their conservative beliefs and worked to maintain financial stability for the business. An operating reserve account was established immediately, with the goal of setting aside an untouchable fund to cover 9 months of operating expenses.

At the same time, a percentage of profits was set aside into a ‘building fund’. With a historical building of this age, we knew we would have expenses beyond maintenance. We also have a currently unused 2nd floor which we hope will eventually serve a community need. A building fund donation jar has been available for public contributions since our opening day. Our operating reserve reached it’s goal amount some time ago and those designated monthly contributions have been rolled into the building fund.

All of these ‘emergency funds’ have been set aside while we have worked to meet our original mission – to financially support area non-profits. Each month a new statement is placed at the sales desk that shows who we’ve assisted and the amount we’ve been able to give. From January, 2008 (when grants began to be made) though September of 2013, this volunteer effort has put $145,567 into community groups. Each month a group is granted a ‘Fund Day’ at which the sales of the day are matched 100% by the Nail and given to the organization. For example, the American Legend and VFW combined for the event in September and received $1197.54. Next, on November 9, with be the Historical Society.

Next week: the new storefront!

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